Stan Rosenberg, Dave Sullivan, John Olver July 4th Parade Amherst town center 2009
As someone greatly concerned with government transparency at all levels -- especially when it concerns corruption or conflict of interest -- I can honestly say the recent soap opera backstory concerning our favorite State Senator doesn't have me concerned in the least.
At least not yet.
I've known State Senator Stan Rosenberg for 25+ years and have always found him to be the most responsive hard working politician in the state.
When he came out on July 4th, 2009 I called him a stand up guy -- both here on the blog, and in person as he was marching in the July 4th Parade I helped promote.
But even ten years before that, Stan attended as a guest speaker a controversial rally I organized on the Amherst town common decrying the (1999) cancellation of 'West Side Story', to this day one of the all time greatest stains on the reputation of our little college town.
Both he and ACLU Western Massachusetts Director Bill Newman gave a spirited defense of the First Amendment while lamenting the cancellation of the play at Amherst Regional High School. Stan even tried to find state funds to bring a traveling professional troupe to Amherst to perform the iconic play.
And no matter how controversial the July 4th Parade became over the ten years it stepped off in Amherst (only in Amherst could a July 4th Parade become a heated controversy) he could always be counted on to march.
So if anyone understands the light of media attention that can shine with blinding speed and luminance, it would be a guy who has had to deal with it for most of his adult life -- one who doesn't duck away from controversial issues.
Thus far he has handled the problem created by his significant other with a textbook response: admit there's a problem and clearly outline a simple solution.
Erecting a "firewall" between his personal relationship and the duties of a powerful politician about to get more powerful is exactly the right answer. Sort of like newspapers erecting a solid brick wall between editorial and advertising (or at least they used to back in the day).
Western Massachusetts always seems to fly under the radar with folks at the Boston Statehouse. Our region will become a much bigger blip with Stan Rosenberg as State Senate President.
Rest assured Western Massachusetts: we're still in very good hands.